Eliminating

Hair Bias

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Hair is about so much more than just hair: in Pantene’s landmark global Great Hair Days research study, women worldwide reported that a great hair day makes them feel happier, more joyful, and more competent— “ready to conquer my day” and “confident I can achieve what I want.”

Women ranked hair as one of the most powerful ways to tell the world who they really are—more powerful than either clothing or makeup. Yet, in many countries and cultures, strong social and cultural biases make it impossible for many to use their hair to express their identity, to celebrate their individuality. Pantene is committed to eliminating hair-related discrimination and ensure everyone has a chance to express their true self – who they are or want to be - through their hair. Whatever their hair type, however gender they identify with, without any social or cultural bias getting their way.

Our squad of passionate Pantene employees around the world has been running local campaigns, often partnering with NGOs, Associations, Governments and Citizens to influence policies and help change the social & cultural norms around hair. We know this won’t be an easy task, and we are just at the beginning of a long journey!

Our campaigns around the world

NORTH AMERICA

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Because 60% of LGBTQ people change their hair when they come out of the closet, Pantene embraced ‘queer all year’ as part of its new campaign. For Pride 2019, Pantene launched “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m #BeautifuLGBTQ+,” which took the brand’s ubiquitous line to redefine what ‘beautiful’ looks like today by featuring a range of people within the LGBTQ+ community and their own stories of transformation.

A few months later, Pantene launched its Home for the Holidays campaign based on a simple insight: 137 million Americans travel home for the holidays every year but 44% of LGBTQ+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves, fearing tp—p-heir identity, including hair, makeup and wardrobe, won’t be accepted. To raise awareness and empathy around this issue, Pantene, GLAAD and the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles created “Going Home for the Holidays”, a video series sparking conversations around the tensions and challenges LGBTQ+ community members can face. Pantene also made a $100,000 donation to Family Equality, which envisions a world in which every LGBTQ+ person has the right and the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family.

Japan

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Pantene challenged cultural pressure to conform to traditional straight black hair with a video, “Why Is My Hair Unacceptable?,” that’s been viewed 10 million times. A change.org petition challenging local schools’ policy of requiring students to have straight, black hair received so many signatures and the policy was successfully reversed. When you look for a job in Japan, you are forced to follow the unspoken rule to look and act in the certain way to prove that you can follow the crowd and ‘fit to the social expectation. Pantene tackled this uniform-like look of Japanese job-hunters with a widely-viewed campaign celebrating the mold-breaking hairstyles of real, newly-hired employees. To act further, Pantene worked hand in hand with 139 companies, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to change hair rules for pre-hire’s ceremony (naiteishiki) as well as job hunting interviews. At a subsequent job fair, so many candidates arrived in individualized looks, local newspapers attributed it to Pantene’s campaign.

INDIA

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Pantene found a generation of young women yearning to live on their own terms, yet bound by tradition. Our video, #FreedomHair, highlights young Indian women making their mark. With social impact organization Sattva, Pantene provides workshops and internships to inspire girls to follow their dreams.

EUROPE

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The #HairHasNoGender campaign explores the power of hair to express one’s identity through personal powerful stories from transgender women and gender non-conforming advocates. It also shares the struggles this community faces and how Pantene is taking action to help in a meaningful way. As part of this, Pantene is proud to be partnering with TheDressCodeProject – a global network of salons and barbers promoting gender affirming safer spaces for all. We also work with local associations to provide safe spaces, job trainings and job opportunities to the transgender community.

INDONESIA

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In a new social experiment film and a campaign launched in the graduation month, Pantene Indonesia uncovers hair stereotyping surrounding “berpenampilan menarik” or “looks attractive” as a job hiring requirement commonly found in job advertisements in Indonesia. Those two words are not only vague in meaning but also surrounded with personal bias and society’s preconceptions about beauty. With half a million female graduates every year, “berpenampilan menarik” has a potential to affect them, particularly at this stage of life where independence, success and passions are suddenly more important than ever. So, does that really mean that young women have to look a certain way to achieve great things in life? With a focus on hair, Pantene conducted a social experiment to see how this problem manifests as part of its new campaign in Indonesia, #RambutTanpaBatas.

DID YOU KNOW?
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We continue to widen our range of products to address hair of every type, from fine to highly textured, and at every life stage.

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We actively recruit employees of all identities, backgrounds, and beliefs, and has a strong record of promoting women in leadership.

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We work with suppliers who hire inclusively & follow a zero-discrimination policy

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We seek to cast a diverse range of inspiring spokespeople who we encourage to be authentic, true to themselves, & inspired to raise their voices for the causes close to their hearts.

Our aim is to create ad campaigns produced by diverse, including women-led, production teams.